• June 4, 2014

Buying and maintaining an ATV

ATVs are a lot of fun but they can be expensive to purchase and maintain. Here are a few guidelines on buying, maintaining and replacing parts.

Buying your first ATV?

Consider first what your ATV is for. What will it be used for, work or play? Consider your budget and which brands fit within it? Are you looking for a second-hand or new one?

If you are buying second-hand, check for signs of damage and ask the current owner about maintenance.
You should get a mechanic to look it over just for peace of mind’s sake. Dealers will often acquire an ATV in, do some mechanical work on it, and then sell it. It might be pricier to buy from an independent seller, but you need to be sure you are buying a vehicle that works and is safe.

A good indicator that your ATV has been damaged is rust. All external parts should be painted or treated to prevent rust with the only exception being that of the brake disks and chain. Modern aluminum frames are light and a silvery color, so cracks reveal themselves as dark silver or black lines at the base of the wield.

Don’t be afraid to thoroughly examine an ATV you are considering purchasing, especially it’s under carriage. Check the suspension and wheels. If you can hear grinding or knocking or even the slightest rattle, it has been damaged! Check the steering wheel for signs of a crash. The handles should be straight; any bumps could indicate a crash.

Basic measure like cleaning the ATV from a mud driven session will help keep it rust free. Many of the most common problems with ATVs can be simply remedied by storing your ATV in a rust-free environment.

Follow a simple checklist before you ride your ATV to ensure optimal usage:

  1. Check the chain is attached- a cracked chain can result in damage and costly damage at that.
  2. Secure the handgrips or risk being hurled over the front of the bike.
  3. Keep your filter clean and clear from debris, this prolongs the life of the engine but also keeps the ATV running smoothly.
  4. Maintain the swingarm bolt. Loose bolts are dangerous. Consult the manual if you are unsure!
  5. Fit skid guards. Keep the value of your ATV and protect it from mud at the same time by fitting guards on the underside.

ATVS are not designed like cars so the engine is different. You will need to keep up a good maintenance regime to keep it tip top.
Buying new parts:

When buying parts do your research. You can buy parts from places such as EBay but do you really know the quality of what you are getting? If you do need to buy or replace parts, make sure you follow a mechanic’s advice. Pat’s Small Engine Plus has a range of ATV parts that can be relied upon.

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